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Fiction: 1970s

Fiction of the Day

Guests

By Mary Terrier

The month after our mother died, our father began bringing women home. It felt like a behind-her-back kind of operation. “I’m going to have a guest over tonight,” is what he would say. 

David and I stayed out in the living room, turned up cartoons, burned toast, kicked our feet up over our heads. I worked long division. At some point a woman would emerge to drink a glass of water or fix her hair in the kitchen window’s dark reflection.

The guests left behind nubs of lipstick in gold tubes and leftover food, paper pouches of cold french fries, chicken legs in clamshell Styrofoam boxes. They left tampons blooming through toilet paper in the trash can, like tiny mice they’d killed, the cotton tails pink with blood.

 

Dr. Justino Ybarra, Dispeller of Blindness

By Ray Russell

The treacherous nature of human language is shown with admonitory force in an incident well known, if not fully understood, among the people of this part of the hemisphere in which I spend my days. In the capitol of one of those countries bordering on mine, during the rule of the present dictator’s infamous uncle, there was erected a spacious and elegant clinic, all of white marble, modelled chiefly after the Alhambra, but with disquieting influences of Versailles and Stonehenge.